In the comments below give us your Electronics & Water Project ideas!
The theme this month comes from beagles and jomoenginer and it's to do electronics projects that either conserve or preserve water. With all the countries being hit by droughts this year, this theme can include projects that help us reduce potable water use. It can also be projects that preserve our water through responsible waste management.
Examples of projects to conserve water include:
- A timer that alarms for 2 minute showers. An egg timer could probably be used but lets face it, its not as fun!
- Setting up the garden watering system using rain water
- A device that will detect and alert the user of over usage of water. This could be flow control devices or smarter water meters that provide the home owner with info on their own water usage rather than just send the data to the Water Utility.
- A device that absorbs the extra water from either rain or sprinkler run off rather than it being sent down the drain. This could also be used in a shower to collect and recycle the extra water used during a shower session which, after some filtering, could be used for lawn or plant usage.
Or projects that deal with the dark (waste) side of water:
- what to do about oils & fats being chucked down the sink
- or so called 'flushable wipes... THESE ARE NOT FLUSHABLE!
- Finding ways to convert waste into some other form of energy. Sort of like Doc from "Back to the Future" with the trash powered Delorean.
Hopefully, you'll have fun with this competition while thinking about serious issues that needs brilliant minds like yours to address. These are problems that may be hidden from much of Europe and North America, but for many parts of the world such as in Africa, India, South East Asia, Central and South America, it's a harsh reality. There are also more mobile phones than toilets, only 1 in 3 people have access to those.
Water is Essential for Life
Water is the single most essential ingredient to life as we know it. Our planet is covered with water and looks like a tiny blue dot if you go far enough in space. All life as we know it requires water. NASA's motto for the hunt for extraterrestrial life is "follow the water." There's nothing more important in the world than water.
Water is Everywhere, Mostly You Can't Drink It
Despite the fact that 71% of the earth's surface is covered with water, only 1% of it can be used as drinking water. While it's possible for someone to live for about a month without food, you could only survive about a week without drinkable water. The vast majority of water, 96.4% of it, is sea water and it can be found in either oceans, seas, and bays.
Sea water is highly saline, it has a salinity of 35,000 ppm. Water that is saline contains significant amounts (referred to as "concentrations") of dissolved salts. In this case, the concentration is the amount (by weight) of salt in water, as expressed in "parts per million" (ppm). Any water that comes from the ocean or the sea is referred to as highly saline.
Water that is saline contains significant amounts (referred to as "concentrations") of dissolved salts. In this case, the concentration is the amount (by weight) of salt in water, as expressed in "parts per million" (ppm). Sea water is any water from the ocean or sea, it has a salinity of 35,000 ppm whereas fresh water has less than 1,000.
In nature, this basic process is responsible for the water (hydrologic) cycle. The sun supplies energy that causes water to evaporate from surface sources such as lakes, oceans, and streams. The water vapor eventually comes in contact with cooler air, where it re-condenses to form dew or rain. This is the main source of fresh water on earth.
Throughout history, man-made distillation systems have been used to duplicate this natural process on a smaller scale. Early references to distillation can be found in the Old Testament and the writings of Aristotle. One way you could mimic nature is to boil some seawater in a pan, capture the steam and condense it back into water (distillation).
Prior to the Second World War, desalination systems based on evaporation were commonly employed in boats that crisscrossed the oceans on long trans-Atlantic voyages.
The reason why this hasn't solved all the world's problems with fresh drinking water supply is that there is there is no efficient, cost-effective way to do this. Trying to mimic nature on a large scale, so as to be useful to a large population, is expensive, energy-intensive, and involves large scale factories.
As of June 2015, 18,426 desalination plants operated worldwide, producing 86.8 million cubic meters per day, providing water for 300 million people.As of June 2015, 18,426 desalination plants operated worldwide, producing 86.8 million cubic meters per day, providing water for 300 million people.
According to water.org there are nearly 844 million people living without access to safe water, nearly 1 in 9 people, and 2.3 billion people living without improved sanitation.
In total, approximately 700 million people in 43 countries suffer today from water scarcity and that number could be around 1.8 billion people by 2025. Another two-thirds of the world's population could be living under water stressed conditions.
As of June 2015, 18,426 desalination plants operated worldwide, producing 86.8 million cubic meters per day, providing water for 300 million people. The single largest desalination project is Ras Al-Khair in Saudi Arabia, which produced 1,025,000 cubic meters per day in 2014. This is expected to be surpassed by a plant in California.
A prototype for household-scale desalination using solar power is in development.
The prototype of the Desolenator produces 15 liters of water per day and costs $650.
The Water You Can Drink Gets Contaminated Mostly by Humans
As mentioned earlier, less than 1% of the Earth's water is drinkable.The water we drink comes from natural sources that are either groundwater or surface water. Groundwater arrives via rain and snow and then seeps into the ground. The water gets stored in open spaces and pores or in layers of sand and gravel known as aquifers. Groundwater can be accessed by humans through water wells or springs. Surface water comes in through rain and snow as well. Its what fills rivers, lakes, and streams. Water is pumped, from both groundwater or surface water sources, into pipes and tanks. These pipes go into homes, schools, businesses, and places where you would drink from tap water. If you live in a large city or town in the US, you'll get your water from a public water supply.
Because water comes from natural sources, it gets exposed to pollutants. When polluted groundwater reaches drinking water systems it can pose serious public health threats. Nutrient pollution can affect vital ground water sources and our drinking water. In the US, the EPA lists general categories of drinking water contaminants and gives examples of each:
- Physical contaminants primarily impact the physical appearance or other physical properties of water. Examples of physical contaminants are sediment or organic material suspended in the water of lakes, rivers and streams from soil erosion.
- Chemical contaminants are elements or compounds. These contaminants may be naturally occurring or man-made. Examples of chemical contaminants include nitrogen, bleach, salts, pesticides, metals, toxins produced by bacteria, and human or animal drugs.
- Biological contaminants are organisms in water. They are also referred to as microbes or microbiological contaminants. Examples of biological or microbial contaminants include bacteria, viruses, protozoan, and parasites.
- Radiological contaminants are chemical elements with an unbalanced number of protons and neutrons resulting in unstable atoms that can emit ionizing radiation. Examples of radiological contaminants include cesium, plutonium and uranium.
As the Earth's population grows, and many countries are further developed, fresh water is becoming more and more limited. Anything on the ground or in the air can end up in the water. Some of these things can cause health problems when you drink the water including pollutants like bacteria, lead, and nitrates. There are other pollutants that aren't dangerous, but cause bad odors and tastes or stain your sinks, such as iron, manganese, and chloride. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has established Safe Drinking Water Standards, based on research and water testing.
The Safe Drinking Water Standards state what amount of each of these pollutants is acceptable in your drinking water. Because your drinking water comes from natural sources, it is exposed to pollutants. Anything on the ground or in the air can end up in the water. Some of these things can cause health problems when you drink the water including pollutants like bacteria, lead, and nitrates. There are other pollutants that aren't dangerous, but cause bad odors and tastes or stain your sinks, such as iron, manganese, and chloride. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has established Safe Drinking Water Standards, based on research and water testing.
Your Chance to Win
|Be Original||Stick to the Theme|
|List the Steps||Submit Video Proof|
Your Project Examples
|Mixing Electronics & Water|
|IOT Irrigation valve||Flush-A-Vader Complete|
Your Project, Your Ideas!
Every month you'll have a new poll where you'll get to decide an upcoming project competition, based on your interests, that will take place a couple of months in advance. Themes are broad in scope so that everyone can participate regardless of skill set.
What are Monthly Themes?
What are Monthly Theme Polls?
Step 2: Post in the comments section below to begin a discussion on your idea. Videos, pictures and text are all welcomed forms of submission.
Step 3: Submit a blog post of your progress on your project by the end of the month. You are free to submit as many blog entries as you like until the beginning of the next theme.
Be sure to include video proof of your project!
Visit: Mixing Electronics & Water
You have until April 14th, 12:00 AM CDT to submit your completed project!
A jury consisting of your peers will judge project submissions!
Give Us Your Electronics & Water Ideas in the Comments Below!